Tomas Holes’ physical issue time header saw Slavia Prague procure a 1-1 draw at Arsenal in the main leg of their Europa League quarter-last.
The tie had seemed bound to set out toward a goalless draw after the home side missed various promising openings at the Emirates.
In any case, with only four minutes left to play, substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slipped Nicolas Pepe through on objective and the Ivory Coast forward kept his cool to dink the ball past the progressing Slavia No 1 Ondrej Kolar for his fourth Europa League objective of the period.
However, similarly as Arsenal suspected they had acquired a thin lead heading into next Thursday night’s second leg in the Czech capital, up popped Holes to head home at the far post to blast the Gunners’ air pocket.
Arsenal: Leno (6), Bellerin (7), Holding (6), Gabriel (6), Cedric (6), Partey (6), Xhaka (6), Saka (8), Smith Rowe (7), Willian (6), Lacazette (7)
Subs: Elneny (6), Pepe (7), Martinelli (7), Aubameyang (7)
Slavia Prague: Kolar (6), Bah (6), Holes (7), Zima (6), Boril (6), Hromada (6), Oscar (6), Stanciu (6), Provod (7), Olayinka (6), Sima (6)
Subs: Kuchta (6), Sevcik (6), Lingr (6)
Man of the match: Bukayo Saka
How difficult Slavia disappointed Arsenal
Weapons store would have known in front of commencement exactly what an extreme test anticipated them in what was their sixteenth significant European quarter-last and nothing that occurred in the principal half would have adjusted their perspective, with Slavia demonstrating ordinarily obstinate rivals.
The guests, who killed both Leicester City and Rangers in the past two knockout rounds, really had the main exertion on objective when Lukas Provod terminated barely ludicrous from the edge of the space, yet were very substance to protect somewhere down in numbers from there on.
Notwithstanding, regardless of their adversaries being generally glad to pause for a minute and play on the counter, Arsenal attempted to make any obvious openings in a dull first half, in spite of the fact that Bukayo Saka ought to have improved when played through on objective not long before the half-hour mark.
The England global, back after injury, side-footed wide of the far present with only Kolar on beat and surprisingly however the banner went up for offside, replays showed the objective would have stood had the forward tracked down the rear of the net.
Loot Holding additionally went close with a header which Kolar tipped throughout six minutes before half-time as the sides went in level at the break, just for the hosts to venture up the speed in the second time frame looking for that critical opener.
Inside four minutes of the restart, the consistently hazardous Saka was pulled down directly on the edge of the space, just for Willian’s subsequent free-kick to beat the unmoving Kolar, however not the outside of the post.
- Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe got back to the Arsenal XI, with the youthful pair having passed up a major opportunity against Liverpool on Sunday. They were two of six changes – Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares, Granit Xhaka and Willian additionally coming into the beginning crew.
- Kieran Tierney and Martin Odegaard passed up a major opportunity through injury, with Calum Chambers additionally not in the matchday crew. Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all dropped to the seat.
Slavia were not without their own snapshots of danger on the break, however, with Bernd Leno’s outstretched leg needed to keep out Jan Boril’s low drive not long before the hour-mark, before Alexandre Lacazette rejected the most clear opening of the night minutes after the fact.
The guests were really on the assault but then minutes after the fact Lacazette wound up dashing through one on one with Kolar after Oscar Dorley lost belonging on mostly, just for the France striker to twist his shot against the support of post and bar, with Emile Smith Rowe unfit to change over the bounce back.
In the thing was turning into a start to finish challenge, Slavia missed their own overlaid edged freedom when substitute Petr Sevcik some way or another missed the objective with only Leno to beat, with Mikel Arteta at that point choosing he had adequately considered to be the Arsenal administrator presented Aubameyang, Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli in assault.
Still no Gunners shut-out – Opta stats
- Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 14 games in all competitions, their longest such run since December 2019.
- Arsenal remain unbeaten in their nine European meetings with Czech opponents (W7 D2) – however, this was the first time they’ve failed to win a home game against a side from the Czech Republic.
- Having lost their first three away games against English sides without scoring a single goal, Slavia Prague have lost just one of their last four such games in European competition (W1 D2), finding the net each time.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s assist for Arsenal’s opener was his 100th goal involvement in all competitions for Arsenal (84 goals, 16 assists).
- Slavia Prague’s Tomas Holes scored his first ever goal in major European competition, in what was his 14th such appearance.
Man of the Match – Bukayo Saka
Saka got back to Arsenal’s firing line-up having missed Saturday’s 3-0 home loss by Liverpool and kid were the host group happy about that given the youth’s bubbly exhibition in the capital.
In what was a generally predictable first period, it was the 19-year-old that stood apart with his consistent raids down the right, one of which he definitely should have given his side the lead from.
After the break, the England global continued being his side’s most perilous player and he nearly achieved the opener with a pacy break that constrained David Zima to pull him down directly on the edge of the space.
Even though the forward began to tire, he still created presentable openings for Alexandre Lacazette and Thomas Partey which both players wasted before being replaced with 12 minutes to go.